President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday voiced the commitment of his administration to “diligently” pursue investments in people, especially in youths as well as most vulnerable and poorest members of society.
President Buhari spoke at a Presidential Parley with the Participants of Senior Executive Course 42 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) at the State House, Abuja.
The President said the commitment to creating more jobs would focus on enabling the private sector to target more youthful population by streamlining priority on agriculture, arts, entertainment, mining and Information Technology.
Buhari said the focus of the NIPSS Course 42 group’s research for the year, “Population Growth and Human Capital Development: Challenges and Opportunities’’, was most appropriate in timing, and the recommendations will be fully considered.
“I have no doubt that you have evaluated the theme given to you. I can assure you that many of your recommendations would be considered to further enhance Human Capital Development in the country.
“We will study and explore the creative and innovative recommendations in your report and direct implementations as soon as possible,” he also said.
The President told participants of Senior Executive Course 42 that his administration had made tremendous efforts at diversifying the economy and reducing heavy dependence on the oil sector for government revenues and foreign exchange earnings.
He promised that his administration would continue to encourage private capital for infrastructural development through Public Private Partnerships.’
Buhari added that efforts had been made in putting in place various programmes to equip Nigerians, particularly the youth, with requisite skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and wealth creation, which include the Presidential Youth Empowerment Scheme, N-Power scheme, Youth Entrepreneurship Support Programme, Graduate Internship Scheme and Youth Enterprise with Innovation in Nigeria programme.
The President said the Federal Government had taken steps to harmonise all operations related to technical and vocational skills development by all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, culminating in a new partnership between the Industrial Training Fund and Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association under a special initiative called the Technical Skills Development Project.
“In addition, Government is implementing the Special Public Works programme to provide employment opportunities to 774,000 youths across the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. We have also recently introduced N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund, of which N25 billion have been provided in 2021 Budget. All of these are consistent with our policy of positioning the youth for strategic leadership in different fields of endeavour,” he added in a statement issued by his spokesman, Femi Adesina.
In his remarks, the Director-General/Chief Executive officer of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Prof. Habu S. Galadima, who thanked the President for providing strategic and purposeful leadership for the country in spite of daunting challenges, appreciated the administration for the way it handled the COVID-19 pandemic.